Self-Care Is The Most Important Care…But Then What?
by Live Better
We often preach that self-care is the most important kind of care. We also take great care (as we’re doing now) to speak about WHY that is the case and WHY that is so important.
What is the purpose of striving towards a healthier you?
The answer? We practice self-care so that we are capable of performing at our highest potential, thus giving the world our fullest amount of energy, purpose, and passion. This applies whether you’re a banker, artist, musician, entrepreneur, athlete, mother, father, nurse, doctor, and everything in between. The artist needs energy for creativity. The mother and father need energy to raise children.
We can’t afford to stop at looking good in the mirror. It must go beyond a PR on the track, bigger biceps, and lower body fat %. It’s what we take away from these pursuits and successes that allows us to make an impact on the world.
We’ve fallen into a bit of a trap with the rise of the term “self-care.” The topic of body image has become a hotbed for conversation over the past few years. We’ve got the body positive camp that says I’m comfortable with my body no matter what you say, fitness magazines promoting this and that, and social media producing edited, unrealistic, snapshot expectations of the “ideal” shape.
Why do these ideas fall short (even if the original intention is good)? They haven’t moved the needle in terms of changing public perception (or the posting habits on social media), so what gives? It is because these arguments stop with the way we look and feel, not with what being healthy allows us to do afterwards.
It is an excessive focus on “me.” And guess what? You’ll always want to be bigger/faster/stronger or to look better, even after you reach this proverbial summit. So if the destination is not the best end game, what is? We believe it’s what you do with this newfound positivity and strength (both physical and mental) that matters.
True “health and wellness” is a journey, not a destination.
You’ve achieved your 6-pack…now what? You’ve accepted your body. Awesome…now what? There is nothing wrong with loving exercise. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel accepted. But realize that you wouldn’t place as much value on the way you look if you weren’t constantly comparing yourself in the mirror to those around you. We understand this is an extremely challenging task - we’d recommend placing your focus on what comes next to reframe your “why."
The world needs your energy and effort on things that create change. Your energy tank is full? Good, now go make an impact. Work better, don’t call in sick, give time to your relationships, volunteer, or start that side hustle. Pick someone up that’s struggling to stand on their own. Share your story, but more importantly share your “why.”
(side note: ever notice that the thing we respect about people we regard as our “heroes” has nothing to do with what they look like? Did MLK have a 6-pack? Did our founding fathers have sub 10% body fat? Santa Claus could probably stand to shed a few lb.’s for his health and yet we keep feeding him cookies and milk - we love him for his GIVING abilities, not his slim waistline).
Take some time today to write down why taking care of yourself is so important. Is it for your career? Your relationships? Family? Not only will this help you provide a next step for your journey, but it will frame your discipline and motivation when it inevitably gets difficult.
Let’s get it.